The Fae Worlds

Watching

Trapped

Keeley was the first to arrive. That was good. It was also expected. Had things gone differently Alban would have wondered if they truly had the control they needed, but it was obvious they did. As he watched her, knowing exactly what it was she’d been expecting, he found himself smiling. She was the one they wanted to be there, the one who could help them fix the things that needed to be fixed, although he knew, considering what they were, that what they saw as things that needed to be fixed were probably what the developers had put in to make the game more complicated. Of course they hadn’t stopped to think about what it meant to make games with magic. They were too foolish for that. Instead they did what they wanted, believing that they had some idea of what it was they were playing with, when they didn’t. They had no clue whatsoever, but at least that was something that might change when she returned to her home. If she returned.
Next Jack appeared. He was the one who’d destroy their world, because he was one of those who believed that what was being done was an abomination. In all honesty he wasn’t entirely wrong. Yet he had no idea what it meant to be created by fae magic. Being a construct didn’t mean that they were never going to gain sentience. That was a lesson he needed to learn, in order to take the information back to the people he worked with, so that they would stop murdering innocents. Hopefully. There were no guarantees with people like that, but Alban hoped that they would be able to see that what they were doing was wrong for the people who had been brought to life by the fae magic. It hadn’t been his choice, but it was his life.
The two of them talked about what their next steps were going to be. Although Alban couldn’t hear what they were saying exactly he knew what he’d be doing if he were in their situation. Instead, for him, it had been a lot more complicated, when he realised what it meant. Being there for the others was his job. He was the guide, the one who’d be created with the most knowledge of the world, so he’d done what he could to help them through the transition from being nothing to being something. Most of them had memories of what had happened before. They had stories in their minds that they knew weren’t the truth, and coming to terms with that had been complicated. He knew that from experience, but it had been harder for them. Some of them had begged him to let Jack end everything. Some of them had begged him not to. Making the right choice was hard, and sometimes he couldn’t be certain he had, but he believed he was doing the best thing possible for his people. For all the people.
Slowly, looking uncertain, Keely moved from one platform to the next. They’d chosen down. At least that meant he didn’t need to move. Instead Alban could stay right where he was, watching the two of them make their way down to him, and work out how it was he was going to deal with them. Knowing that they were arriving was one thing. Actually being there, and knowing it wouldn’t be long until he’d be speaking to them… he breathed in deeply. He sank into a meditative state for a moment, his eyes still on the two bug checkers. Neither of them knew what it was they’d stepped into. Soon enough they would.
With a gesture Alban brought into sight the weapons he was meant to offer them. Part of his didn’t know if that was the right thing to do, but it would tell him something about them. It would tell him how they thought. How likely it was they’d be able to work together. Both of them had to know the history of the world, and what it was they were meant to be doing, so he shouldn’t have to explain too much to them. Or at least he wouldn’t have to explain what they already knew. The problem was what they didn’t know. How could they know that some of the worlds became real? As far as he knew it wasn’t something that had happened to too many of them, and often it didn’t happen until later on, once the world had had time to evolve. That wasn’t what had happened to them.
Getting down was going to take a while. Sighing, he sat down by the tree, knowing he needed to be patient. Had he wanted to he knew he could have met them where he was supposed to be. Alban had made the decision it was best to give the two of them some time to learn about each other. Jack wasn’t going to tell Keeley the truth about why he’d made the decision to become a bug checker. He wouldn’t want her to know that his plan was the destruction of a world. Like her he had no way of knowing what had happened to them. No way of seeing what was going to happen when he stepped onto the new world. Yet he was certain that he was making the right choice, even without all the information, and if he was the person Alban believed he was he would see sense. If he didn’t he wasn’t going to be leaving. Alban was the one in control of who entered and who left. Letting Jack leave if he was going to cause problems on other worlds was something Alban wasn’t willing to do.
Finally, as the sun was beginning to set, Keeley and Jack reached the ground. Alban took a moment to study the two of them in closer detail as he stood. The magic was coming off Jack in waves. It was unexpected, but not something that couldn’t be dealt with. Maybe having magic would make it easier for him to see the truth of things. Or, on the other hand, it was just a likely he might walk a darker path, which could lead to the end of the world that Alban was trying so hard to protect. Taking a couple of steps closer to them he let himself become visible once more.

The Guide